Postcard Politics

Standard

This selection of political postcards were all created as an epistolary protest tool for public dissent aimed directly at a particular Canadian member of parliament or senator. Because no stamp is required for any mail delivery to an elected MP or an unelected senator, these postcards are created as a pressure device from the public. Presumably, since postage is free, anyone and everyone who agrees with the postcard’s political stance can quickly and easily drop it in a mailbox and presumably flood a government office with a common dissenting message.

An activist group of coalition of groups can produce any quantity of political postcards that matches a campaign budget. Once delivered from the printer, distribution becomes the challenge. Postcard campaigns often coincide with mass protests that gather an audience that is sensitive to the particular issue and allow for easy postcard distribution. The delivery success of a postcard campaign is anyone’s guess but the dual purpose of a political postcard (to pressure the government and to inform the public) may make the effort worthwhile.

Web-based petitions, like Avaaz’s current Stop Harper’s Cruel Crime Bill, which had 102,384 signatures on Nov 17, may be replacing the protest postcard. Avaaz, which means ‘voice’ in many languages languages, was launched in 2007 “with a simple democratic mission: organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want” (on website Nov 17, 2011).

The effectiveness of either the protest postcard of the web-based petition campaign is questionable because both can be just as easily ignored by governments and corporations as the other.

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To view a map with the locations of all the postcards on this website, just ask yourself where on earth were these postcards sent from?